Weed Woman

I earned that title from my little brother. I guess he noticed that I’ve always been draw to plants, the outdoors, herbs… I recall standing at our back porch and seeing “elephant ears” (as we called them) growing along the foundation of our house. Mother was madly hacking at them, a “weed” she called them. It wasn’t until years later that I learned they were the marvelous burdock. Plantain, lobelia, Queen Anne’s Lace, mullein,  chickory… all “weeds” with healing properties that grew in our back yard.

When I was 15 I got my first paying job – at a greenhouse. I had to nearly bribe the owner to give me a try… he didn’t think I could muscle the bags of dirt that would need unloaded weekly. He gave me a try, I earned the job and then some, not knowing until the end of the first week if I was staying or not. The paycheck was a welcome bonus.

And so today, I still find myself turning toward the plant, the herb, the essential oil: to make tinctures, salves, food. And nearly every herb my family needs for common ailments can be found in my own backyard. Why not schedule an herb walk in YOUR backyard? Find someone who knows herbs, and ask them to show you. You can learn with field guides, as I did, but it is much easier to recall names and uses if someone tells you in person.

Here is a Missouri Guide from the University of Missouri Extension Office to get you started.

Salt in pregnancy

I’ve been recently compiling a few more resources on salt intake during pregnancy. There simply is no science to support the idea that REAL, WHOLE salt should be reduced or eliminated during pregnancy NOR that doing so will decrease swelling.

Here is a great handout on SALT in pregnancy (not to techy). It is from the UK with some US sources.

MidwiferyServices.org has a lovely section on salt to this tune:

What’s Up With Salt?

Sodium is an extremely important component in your diet and yet many women still get misguided advice to not eat salt while pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stopped recommending salt-restriction to pregnant women in 1974, when it was finally acknowledged that this was not only not beneficial, but was potentially harmful!

Sodium works together with protein (albumin) to maintain a normal circulating blood volume. A pregnant woman needs additional sodium to help support her expanding blood volume. Additional sodium goes to the baby and to the expanding breast and uterine tissues also.

Commonly, friends and family will offer advice to cut back on salt if you are experiencing swelling. This is not a healthy solution to this problem (if it really is a problem) and can in fact cause problems. The correct response to swelling is to increase protein and fluid intake. You may even need additional salt if it has been hot or you have experienced increased perspiration. The general rule of thumb is: Salt your food to taste.

And this is my all-time favorite article on the salt-myth because it includes some discussion (often lacking) about the importance of the TYPE of salt you use. Thank you Maryn!!!

The Mama Club

I am BEYOND excited about this newest happening!!! It looks like we have both a venue and a lovely group of moms willing to jump in and begin to create a community to support motherhood in our our backyard!!! Woot! Woot!!!

The Mama Club is an inclusive group dedicated to creating community for mothers. Whatever kind of mother you are, we welcome you! It is my hope that we can learn from, share and support one another while re-creating a local sisterhood like the ones our great-grandmothers enjoyed.

Click HERE for a copy of our flyer and contact information. We hope to see you soon!

You can also “LIKE” The Mama Club on Facebook and be updated with events and our schedule.


I’m tired tonight. I’ve driven roughly 600 miles this week, and that’s not counting driving for family matters. That adds about another hundred miles or so. Now, I’m not complaining. I’m really not. I am blessed beyond words, and HUMBLED by the number of colossally awesome families I meet in a given day. For instance:

The last minute meeting with a gal I’ve only talked to in passing that turned into a real “Ah-hah!” afternoon while we both nurse our babies and spoke of ways to improve MOTHERING support in our community.

The family I served this week (albeit BARELY!) who will leave for Mexico as full time missionary’s as soon as this baby’s birth certificate arrives. The mama wants to learn about herbs and homeopathics, and essential oils – she wants to mother her family to the fullest in a possibly hostile and surely third-world environment.

The family who is trying their level best to deal with well-intentioned but sometimes annoying family members who question their choice to homebirth. To see the GRACE with which they do this, and the STRENGTH behind their choice is astounding. I’m SO proud of them for standing their ground REGARDLESS of the choice they make (hospital birth vs homebirth really isn’t the issue here).

The young family that chased me down on the highway because they recognized my vehicle and wanted to see me again (I served them at their birth a few months back). We chatted about organic farming and their recent chicken killing activity over a latte’ at Starbucks. Well, I was the only one with a coffee… and I HAD quit until THIS week hit me! The conversation ranged from that to rare hogs to missing hens and non-GMO corn. Oh, and I got to cuddle THE sweetest baby boy who is getting SO BIG!

Really, I could go on and on. The text conversations with my sister-midwives, my daughter’s dreams of life after high school, my oldest calling home (sniff, sniff), my wonderful sons and husband who cook and even clean in my absence with nary a complaint. They even let me sleep the afternoon away until I can reclaim my home-post. 🙂

The real meaning behind my original statement is that when one is walking out their life-calling it can begin to move really really FAST. Once things get going the momentum is breathtaking! I know Staples has an EASY button, may I have a SLOW one? Because I certainly wouldn’t want to stop, skip or fast forward this journey. I simply would like time to enjoy it a bit more. 🙂